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Rest and recuperation

First patient hotel opens its doors

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Switzerland’s first ever patient hotel – which allows convalescing patients to enjoy medical supervision in comfortable, three-star surroundings – has opened in Lausanne.

The establishment, housed in two towers near the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), is meant for patients who can get dressed on their own and can make their way to the restaurant independently. But they will have 24-hour medical supervision.

In addition, each patient at the hotel, which opened on Thursday, will wear an electronic bracelet to allow them to be located within seconds in case of an emergency.

Nicolas Schenk, recovering from a heart operation, is one the first to use the hotel. He told Swiss public television SRF that he was sceptical at first about being away from the hospital but he felt he was well looked after by the nurses. “They look after me as if I were in the CHUV,” he said.

The 114-bed hotel should help the hospital save up to 40% costs. The hospital beds could be used by those who really need them, explained Philipp Müller, CHUV finance director. “Our patients who are at the end of the stay can use the hotel which frees up beds in the main building.”

The patient’s hospital stay is financed by the mandatory health insurance, says the CHUV.

But not everyone is convinced that all the services will be included, as health economist Willy Oggier told SRF. “Patient hotels are not hospitals or rehabilitation clinics. The services are not comparable. Most of the extra costs - besides the costs for the doctors and medications – will be borne by the patient or by an additional insurance.”

The building cost a total of CHF33 million ($33 million). Vaudois insurance Retraites Populaires provided the financing and the hotel will be run by private company Reliva Patienthotel, which has signed a 35-year lease.

Patient’s relatives are also allowed stay in the patient’s rooms, at their own cost, unlike in hospital rooms. Regular guests, such as those attending congresses, may also stay in the three-star hotel.

Do you have patient hotels in your country? Let us know what you think of them.

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